No. 13 UCF splits with No. 5 Rice on Friday, Saturday's game to decide title
Knights hold on in Game One, fall hard in Game Two
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2012
Updated: Saturday, May 19, 2012 10:05
The No. 13 UCF Knights won the first game against the No. 5 Rice Owls, 8-6, but dropped Game Two, 9-2, Friday night at Jay Bergman Field. It will now be a winner takes all rubber match Saturday at 1p.m. as the Knights and the Owls battle for the regular season Conference USA title.
“It’s championship Saturday, every single weekend we have talked about it and we will be there tomorrow at 1 o’clock,” head coach Terry Rooney said. “What else can you ask for?”
The Knights’ bats failed to wake up during the second game. UCF struggled at the plate all day, amassing only four hits.
Jeramy Matos came up clutch in the fourth inning after hitting a double and bring in Ryan Breen for UCF’s first scored run of the game. Matos later scored the second run for the Knights after Travis Shreve hit a single.
While the Knights were struggling at bats, the Knights pitchers were having an even harder time.
Ben Lively exited the game after allowing five runs in 5.2 innings. Nuss took over with a man on base and two outs. He quickly struck out Jeremy Rathjen and ended the sixth inning.
Nuss returned to the mound in the seventh inning and retired the Owls in order. Nuss was taken out in the eighth inning after he threw two wild pitches, which resulted in two runs.
“The story of the day in the area that we need to improve is we walked 15 batters and hit three. That goes against everything we talk about from a pitching stand point,” Rooney said.
Due to weather it took UCF almost 24 hours to beat Rice in Game One. The Knights exploded with an 8-0 lead but blew it in the fifth inning by allowing six runs during the first game. The score would remain the same for the rest of the game, though, after Joe Rogers came in and sealed the deal for another save.